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Report cover showing nurse and patient in a ward

The management of Medical Equipment in NHS Acute Trusts in England

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, reported to Parliament today that NHS Acute Trusts in England held medical equipment with an estimated replacement value of some £3 billion. In 1996-97 they spent some £220 million on acquiring medical equipment annually and a further £120 million on maintenance. Figures for 1997-98 are similar. Medical … Read more

Published:
10 Jun 1999
Cover of report showing prison officer with keys

The Management of Sickness Absence in the Prison Service

“The Prison Service has made good progress in tightening up its procedures for recording sickness absence and now has a better grip on the performance of establishments. The average sickness rate remains high, however. Any reduction in working days lost would free resources which could be used, for instance, to improve regimes for reducing re-offending rates or to deal with the increased number of prisoners being held in custody.

“Further reductions in the average rate of sickness absence among Prison Service staff depend on governors working more closely with staff to improve morale and to overcome a culture of absenteeism prevalent in some prisons.”

Published:
19 May 2004
Report cover image showing Dr taking administering to a patient

The Management of Staff Sickness Absence in Department of Transport and its agencies

“Today’s report paints a mixed picture of sickness absence in the Department for Transport and its agencies. While some parts of the Department compare favourably against other public and private sector organisations and all parts of the Department appear to be proactive in managing sickness absence, the high rates in the customer-facing agencies of DVLA and DSA are worrying.

“The central department appears to have a good record of sickness absence but that does not absolve it from the responsibility to hold those agencies with high levels of sickness absence to account.”

The report makes recommendations on how the Department should better manage sickness absence. These include making line managers more aware of responsibilities when it comes to sick leave, making earlier use of occupational health services and ensuring better quality standards for recording sickness absence. Specific recommendations to agencies include the DVLA bringing long term sickness absence to a swifter resolution.

Published:
8 Jun 2007
Report cover showing medication and a glass of water

The Management of Staff Sickness Absence in the National Probation Service

“Managing sickness absence more effectively will lead to better value for money in the Probation Service. Reducing current sickness absence rates of 12.3 days per person to the Service’s target of 9 days would save £11 million, equivalent to 66,420 working days or some 300 full time employees. Tackling the problem will require investment in better information, robust and proactive management, and consistent application locally of policies that have been agreed nationally, particularly to tackle stress and improve work/life balance. “

Published:
26 Apr 2006
Report cover showing Old Lambeth Hospital's former nurses' home

The Management of Surplus Property by Trusts in the NHS in England

“We have found good practice and good value being obtained in many sales of surplus NHS trust property and this needs to be built on. There needs to be better management of NHS surplus estate, better working with planning authorities, and better handling of some sales to speed things up to release resources for NHS developments to benefit patients. My recommendations and examples of good practice show how improvements can be achieved.”

Published:
21 Mar 2002
Report cover showing medical team

The Management of Suspensions of Clinical Staff in NHS Hospital and Ambulance Trusts in England

“Where patient safety is considered to be at risk or there are allegations of misconduct, it is vitally important for NHS trusts to be able to exclude clinical staff from work or restrict their activities so that the situation can be thoroughly and promptly investigated. At present, however, there is evidence of many cases of exclusion being allowed to drift on without resolution or proper management. This represents a serious waste of resources for the NHS and can harm the career and even personal well-being of the accused clinicians themselves.

“The Department of Health should now take further steps to achieve a system for managing the exclusion of clinical staff in which both staff and patients can have confidence.”

Published:
6 Nov 2003
Report cover showing a doctor talking to an elderly patient

The Medical Assessment of Incapacity and Disability Benefits

“This has been an innovative project for the Department of Social Security, involving the outsourcing of a service which is close to the department’s core business. The Benefits Agency medical service was underachieving and operated within tight resource constraints. Outsourcing has cut costs and speeded up the processing of the work, but the Department, with SEMA Group, must concentrate on improving the quality of assessments and customer service.

“Bottlenecks and delays throughout the system for paying these benefits also need to be addressed. The aim should be to ensure that disability benefits are speedily paid to those entitled to them, as well as reducing losses to the public purse from payments to those who are no longer eligible for benefit.”

Published:
9 Mar 2001
Report cover showing a doctor with a container of blood

The National Blood Service

“The availability of blood is essential to the NHS and many people owe their lives to transfusions that were made possible by voluntary donations of blood. The National Blood Service has had to change the blood service from a regional to a national one, cope with the emergence of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and, at the same time, maintain supplies to hospitals of sufficient safe blood.

This process of change has been accompanied by some controversy and appeared to lose momentum at one stage. But the indications are that the Service has made good progress towards providing an effective national service.”

Published:
20 Dec 2000